SpaceX today launched 53 internet satellites, known as Starlinks, off the coast of Florida. Just hours before the launch, the company founded by Elon Musk, brought four astronauts home after they spent nearly six months at the International Space Station. Amid this busy day for SpaceX, a visual phenomenon called “space jellyfish” got a number of Florida residents excited.
The space jellyfish effect occurs when a rocket takes off in the hours around dawn or dusk. The rocket’s exhaust produces a plume of smoke once it attains a high altitude. If the skies are clear, the sun’s rays illuminate the trail of gases. The effect resembles a jellyfish medusa’s bell and tentacles.
🚀 #spacex Starlink mission launching into Orbital Sunrise this morning! As seen from Tampa, Florida.
— Erik Kuna 🚀 (@erikkuna) May 6, 2022
The SpaceX launch on Friday morning produced a “space jellyfish” that was witnessed by many to who got up early to witness the launch. Several social media users shared the cloud of illuminated gases witnessed in the dark pre-dawn Florida sky.
Well that never gets old!!! pic.twitter.com/36iVPDj3Lt
— Eric Burris (@EricBurrisWESH) May 6, 2022
— Sam Gallaher 🇺🇦 (@samwell224) May 6, 2022
From Lady Lake! pic.twitter.com/ztUg1w0RN4
— Amanda (@AmandaJuneM) May 6, 2022
Woah! Hell yes! That is a well placed ground shot of that same #SpaceX Starlink launch! 🤯
Thanks to @CaptainMoonlig7 for sharing!https://t.co/HfURuUONdUhttps://t.co/LfTRL5F4N0pic.twitter.com/Qks4uUKew3
— Marcus House (@MarcusHouse) May 6, 2022
Explaining the phenomenon, SpaceX’s Jessica Jenson told media, “Basically, what’s happening is, it’s still dark outside, but you have the sun illuminating the plume as it’s in space.” Ms Jensen is the director of Dragon mission management for SpaceX.
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